World Bank under fire over poor health services

  The launch of Vouchers ReportThe Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) has trashed the World Bank Scheme over failure to address its intended objective of providing better health services in Uganda.

 In the report titled, Failing to Reach the Poorest, ISER indicated that scheme promotes discrimination and do not serve the poorest.

 The research done in the 25 districts of Uganda, shows that this World Bank funded project named Uganda Reproductive Health Vouchers Project, the targeted districts are not reflecting the poorest community in Uganda and they have been consistently performing poorly in health service delivery despite of presence of the project.

 At the press briefing ahead of the launch of the report help ISER headquarters at Ntinda- a Kampala outskirt, ISER Executive Director Ms Salima Namusobya said the entire scheme is a messed up and failed to suit its intended goal.

 She said the private actors in health took advantage of the scheme to establish temporally treatment centres yet a number of government health unit were left out. She said some medical workers resorted to do unnecessary Caesarean- Section for women simply because the service fetched more money from the scheme.

 The report recommended that, government should rethink use of vouchers as a model of provision better health services delivery, particularly where they involve cost sharing. They also recommend that donors finance public health system according to plans set by the government to avoid duplication of services and ensure financing goes towards the vulnerable.

 Under this scheme, a person exchanges a coupon/ ticket for specific service from the approve health facility and later, the facility claim the payment for service provided. The voucher cost Ug, Sh.4000/= and major actors included World Bank and a donor, Marrie stoppes as a management agency while Village Health Teams (VHT)) as distributors.

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